Established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937, the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas is well known for being a bird lover’s paradise, but it also quite the place to visit for watching butterflies. Consisting of 115,000 acres of land, here you will find butterfly habitats that include oak forests, open fields and meadows, marshes and streams, and other spots. For tips on finding and identifying some of the butterflies you may find here, see below.
Checkered White. The gorgeous white wings of this butterfly, sprinkled with dark spots on its upper wings, are hard to miss at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Also look for the dark green veins on the underside of its wings. This is a medium-sized butterfly with a wingspan of about 2 ½ inches. Look for it in the fields and meadows of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
Sleepy Orange. Look for this tiny butterfly as it flits busily in the open areas of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Its wings are a gorgeous orangey-yellow, and in the fall its colors change to tan or red. The top of its wings are outlined in black. You may also find them puddling anywhere shallow water is found.
Cabbage White. You’ll recognize this butterfly from their spiral flying pattern, flying higher and higher as they circle each other. This is actually a behavior that a female butterfly engages in to discourage a male; she will continue to circle upwards until the male gives up. Look for it in the fields of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. It has a wingspan of about 2 inches.
Reakirt’s Blue. This small, pale blue butterfly can be found by streams and in fields and meadows at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Look for their unusually patterned wings, six black rimmed dots over a marking that looks like an “equals” sign.
Bordered Patch. A gorgeous butterfly with dark brown wings spotted with orange, cream or white. Look for this butterfly, with a wingspan of up to 2 inches, as it flits about the open woodlands and forests of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas.
Common Buckeye. This butterfly has six colorful eye spots on its brown wings that are easy to see as this butterfly basks in the sunshine at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. You will find it in open areas, including fields and meadows. When they fold up their wings, they look like little brown leaves. Watch for them fluttering close to the ground.
Tropical Checkered-Skipper. Look for the dark brown wings with pale markings on this butterfly in the open, sunny areas of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. You will find it in meadows, fields, and even open areas in the woods. The males have long, blue hairs that give a pretty overlay to their dark wings.